Inconsistencies of Breast Cancer Risk Factors between the Northern and Southern Regions of Vietnam

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney 75 East street, Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia.

2 Department of Medical Imaging, Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy 217 Hong Bang street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.

3 Australian Catholic University 1100 Nudgee Road, Banyo Queensland, Australia.

4 Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Vietnam National Cancer Hospital 30 Cau Buou, Thanh Tri, Hanoi, Vietnam


Background: In recent decades the amount of new breast cancer cases in the southern region has been reported to increase more rapidly than in the northernVietnam. The aim of this study is to compare breast cancer risk factors between the two regions and establish if westernized influences have an impact on any reported differences. Method: Data was collected from the two largest oncology hospitals in the north and the south of Vietnam in 2015. Breast density, demographic, reproductive and lifestyle data of 127 cases and 269 controls were collected in the north and 141 cases and 250 controls were gathered from the south. Baseline differences in factors between cases and age-matched controls in each region were assessed using chi-square tests and independent t-tests. Odds ratios (OR) for independent risk factors for breast cancer were obtained from conditional logistic regression. Results: In northern Vietnam significantly increased risks in developing breast cancer were observed for women with age at first menstrual period less than 14 years old (OR=2.1; P<0.05), post-menopausal status (OR=2.6; P<0.0001), having less than 2 babies (OR=2.1; P<0.05). Southern Vietnamese women having a breast density of more than 75% (OR=2.1; P<0.01), experiencing post-menopause (OR=1.6; P<0.05), having a history of less than 3 pregnancies (OR=2.6; P<0.0001) and drinking more than a cup of coffee per day (OR=1.9; P<0.05) were more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Conclusion: We found that women living in the south had some breast cancer associations, such as increased mammographic density and coffee consumption, which are closer to the risks in westernized populations than women in the north.


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